Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Friday administered oath to nine new cabinet ministers as political instability and economic crisis continue to affect the island nation.

The ministers included, Harin Fernando from the main opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) as the minister of tourism and land, and Manusha Nanayakkara also from the SJB as the minister of labour and foreign employment, the President’s Media Division said.

Others include Susil Premajayantha as the minister of education, Nimal Siripala as the minister of ports and civil aviation, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe as the minister of justice and Nalin Fernando as the minister of trade, commerce and food security.

Officials from the President’s Office said more ministers were to be sworn into the new cabinet by next week.

Repoding to the new appointments, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) said that it will initiate action against party members who have joined the incumbent government, Sri Lanka’s Newswire reported.

Sri Lanka has seen weeks of public protests amid ongoing political and economic instability, which has led to a shortage in essential supplies including food and medicines.

On Monday, the newly appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the next couple of months will be the most difficult ones in the lives of all citizens and the country must prepare to make some sacrifices and face the challenges of this period.

Wickremesinghe said he had no desire to hide the truth and to lie to the public. Although these facts are unpleasant and terrifying, this is the true situation. (ANI)